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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Marmota Monax: Debating When a Prop is Done

on March 6, 2009 - 11:22am

Marmot prop. Paper mache, clay and fur
While my props don't usually see the light of day, I make it a point to bring them outside near the end of completion. Sunshine is an unapologetic critic; it shows all the warts (and not the good kind like you find on witches).

It's amazing how different a prop looks in the daylight.

I use this time to scrutinize him. I note elements that worked in low light but fail when spotlighted. I then decide how much I will adjust it.

I am over the moon with how the dog fur looks on him. I think it's the best idea I've ever had. Hands down. While I'm sure it's been done before, I've never seen anyone else use this technique, so there was an undercurrent of hesitation under my enthusiasm as I glued the pieces on. I promise to include more pictures that showcase his fur.

I don't want to ruin how he looks in darker environments, but I want him to hold up when there's no hiding in shadow. This is especially true for Marmota Monax because I think he'll be living a lot of his life in the light.

Painting for the dark is very different from painting for the light.

David MacDowell: A New Look at Atticus Finch

on March 5, 2009 - 12:54pm

David MacDowell art - Parents Just Don't Understand
David MacDowell describes his art as a fun-loving poke at consumerism, pop culture and the cult of personality. His newest show is called The Sins of Atticus Finch, and I love the piece "Parents Just Don't Understand" (pictured right).

Note the mockingbirds on his tie, and the ad on the back of the book he's reading. Details, folks, it's all in the details.

Most of his subjects are from the media - various movies and celebrities. It's a very entertaining portfolio to peruse.

Loved to Death: Taxidermy Art

on March 3, 2009 - 7:54am

Victorian Top Hat with Squirrel tail, hands and heart
Step right up and pick a door on the Loved to Death website.

Who likes a good riddle? Tell me, which door leads to taxidermy: the one labelled "art", "antiques", "jewelry" or "taxidermy"?

If you said all of them, you win!

Let's start with the 1930's vintage top hat (pictured right). The hat is described as such:

A Victorian inspired framed squirrel taxidermy memento mori piece on the side with a genuine preserved squirrel tail accent in place of a traditional feather. The frame is set on a blood red burgundy velvet backing with genuine taxidermy squirrel feet, a gold genuine squirrel heart and handmade calalily flowers.

Artist Subodh Gupta: Very Hungry God

on March 2, 2009 - 7:53am

Subodh Gupta's
Like most children of India in the little village of Bihar, Subodh Gupta grew up carrying a tiffin pot (a three-tiered tin) containing his lunch. Unlike his peers, he became a world class artist and used those same tiffin pots to create Very Hungry God (pictured left).

Many of Gupta's sculptures are made with cooking utensils and other mundane, common household items.

His life is an honest-to-goodness story of rags to riches full of determination, conflict, and even a shady plot point to keep you interested.

I'd send you to the artist's website, but he doesn't appear to have one. Granted, I'm a bit pressed for time today so I didn't dig too far down in my search.

For those of you who wish to know more about the artist, I suggest reading an article written by Tara Kilachand on www.livemint.com.


Visual art takes time. It took me four years to reach somewhere to change, and in between I made so much not good art. When you lose something and become empty, something new comes out.

Darkside of Depeche Mode: "Wrong"

on February 28, 2009 - 9:15am

I just came across Depeche Mode's video for "Wrong".

It's fairly violent and a tad disturbing, so the faint of heart or sensitive soul may want to skip this one. It's also very effective. It grabs your attention and curiosity.

It's like watching a mini horror movie. I couldn't take my eyes off it.

I've watched it three times, a little hypnotized.

I also like the song itself. But maybe it's just because I haven't had enough electric keyboard and drum machine in my life since Depeche Mode went on hiatus.

Halloween Prop Update: Marmota Monax

on February 27, 2009 - 1:06pm

Marmota Monax Halloween Prop on www.ghoulfriday.com
Normally I get impatient during the prop making process, but it's been different with Marmota Monax. Every stage has been at a slower pace, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

He now has feet and a base coat (white latex primer for the head, hands and feet; black acrylic for the body).

He can hold his little lantern well, and I can easily slip it in and out of his hand.

It's the next step that I am debating. Originally, I had planned on having all his body cloaked but I've been hit with some (slightly odd) inspiration. What if I covered him with fur?

I don't like most of the fake fur products out there, and I really can't justify spending extra money on it at the moment. But...what if...I covered him in real fur?

I'm not talking about buying the hide of an animal, nor using an old fur coat from a thrift shop. I'm talking about the thick hair of a dog.

Eliza Gauger: Artist and Fellow Strange Creature

on February 26, 2009 - 11:35am

Eliza Gauger's art - Monk
The plan was to do a quick blog and then get on with the day. If that was my intent, I never should have chosen Eliza Gauger as my subject.

Upon arrival to her website you're greeted with the illusion of an E drive command/shell window secretly acting as her navigation menu.

I wish the command prompt worked because it reminds me of War Operation Plan Response (is a War Games reference too obscure these days?). I'm almost convinced if I type in Global Thermonuclear War the computer will speak to me and ask if I'd rather play a game of chess.

I think I just met my nerd-quota for the day.

Eliza is an artist who dabbles in both oil and acrylic, digital paintings, and photographs. First and foremost she seems to consider herself an illustrator. I use the word seems because trying to find straightforward answers in regard to her personal bio can be challenging, though she is present across the Web.

My Little Pony, Improved

on February 25, 2009 - 7:45am

My Little Pony as Edward ScissorhandsThe folks over at thetoyzone.com are onto something. They've offered their readers $100 each for any worthy My Little Pony upgrade.

Johnny Depp gets three reincarnations: one as Edward Scissorhands (posted left), one as Captain Jack Sparrrow, and one as Cry Baby.

There are numerous Star Wars themed ponies that have made the cut (and for good reason. The Chewbacca transformation cracks me up, and the Boba Fett pony is plain wonderful. The My Little Solo in Carbonite deserves a special nod as well).

You'll also find a collection of super heroes & villains, and a few Disney characters like Jack Skellington and Sally (posted below).

Looking for something a little more creepy-classic? How about My Little Cthulhu (also posted)?

Dave the Dead: Pumpkin Baby

on February 24, 2009 - 11:07am

Dave the Dead's statue of a pumpkin creature with two small creatures in hand, rising out of a pumpkin
Dave the Dead strikes again. I've blogged about his creations before, and thought I should share with you his newest project recently completed.

This is Pumpkin Baby (inspired by the Frog Baby statue in Indiana). I think I like Dave's better.

It's made from a bit of everything: pvc armature, rolled newspaper body form, scrap urethane foam, strip paper mache, celluclay, paperclay, spackling compound, sculpt or coat, and homemade pulp mache.

Statue of a pumpkin creature with two small creatures in hand, rising out of a pumpkin
Look closely and you'll see the pumpkin seeds as entrails. I couldn't imagine anyone making all of those little bits of seeds by hand so I asked him about them. Those are real seeds beneath that clay.

Laura Palmer Died 20 Years Ago

on February 23, 2009 - 1:44pm

Laura Palmer and Dale Cooper in the Black Lodge, Twin Peaks"She's dead...Wrapped in plastic."

According to the Twin Peaks plotline, Laura Palmer died on February 24, 1989. That would be twenty years ago tomorrow.

Though the series finale (and most of the second season) left much to be desired, Twin Peaks remains near and dear to my heart.

I still cringe every time I think of the closing scene: I can hear Doppleganger Coop saying "How's Annie?" and the pulsating black-tar-mass-of-hate turns in my stomach. A pox on David Lynch for leaving the series to falter, and then swooping back in for the last episode to give it a non-ending.

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